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The Truth About Co-Washing Natural Hair

Posted on January 18 2016

 


You’ve heard the saying, "Co-washing is like washing dirty clothes in fabric softener". This has caused a lot of women who swear by co-washing to get in their feelings and has created a huge division. 

Co-washing became popular many years ago with the Curly Girl Method, when women were looking for alternatives to shampoos that dry out the hair. Today moisturizing shampoos that are are sulfate-free and do not dry out the hair are readily available. Today there are so many moisturizing cleansers available there really isn’t a need to resort to co-washing. 
Cleansers and conditioners are not meant to do the same jobs. Cleansers remove dirt, dandruff and buildup accumulated in your hair. Conditioners improve the state of your hair by repairing, softening, and smoothing the cuticles. Traditional conditioners do not contain cleansing agents and are not meant to clean.

The only way to successfully add co-washing to your routine is to use it between your wash day to give your hair a quick pick me up. For example, if you’re active your hair gets sweaty and co-washing will help rinse out the sweat and salt buildup. However, it doesn’t replace a traditional cleanse which will remove dirt and bacteria from your scalp and hair. Try washing your hair once a week, maximum two weeks and co-wash in between washes.


Do you co-wash your hair? How do you feel about the saying "Co-washing your hair is like washing your dirty clothes in fabric softener"?

6 comments

  • Linda Hoxter: April 29, 2016

    In my opinion cowashing is just like if you were to wash your body with lotion. It is not the same as cleaning yourself with soap. You need to wash you hair to get rid of dirt, excess oils, sweat, debris etc. In order for hair to grow it has to be clean from the inside out. Co-washing is only good for a quick middle of the week practice.

  • ROSALIE: February 05, 2016

    I ACTUALLY DO BOTH, I HAVE FINE 3C HAIR AND SHAMPOOING ON A REGULAR BASIS WITH SULFATE FREE SHAMPOO WOULD STRIP MY HAIR MAKING IT VERY DRY AND HARD TO DETANGLE AND MANAGE, I CO-WASH EVERY WEEK, SOMETIMES TWICE A WEEK AND SHAMPOO MY HAIR ONCE A MONTH, OR WHENEVER IT NEEDS IT. WHENEVER I WASH MY HAIR WITH SULFATE SHAMPOO, I USE CONDITIONER ON TOP OF IT, BEFORE I RINSE IT OUT, AND MY HAIR LOVES IT.

  • teriblt3ri: January 25, 2016

    I have extra dry hair and skin. Don’t even have enough oil to make a pimple. I stopped using soap and used lotion instead on my face. I stopped using shampoo and used conditioner. Now there are many SLS free ones out there. I us

  • MONICA: January 24, 2016

    I tried co-washing for a month and I found that my scalp was getting a lot of acne and my hair looked dry and dull. I went back to shampoo (sulfate free) and my hair recovered a bit, but was frizzy. So, I began pre-pooing with water and oil followed by 1 shampoo and 1 co-wash. The shampoo lifts the dirt and bacteria (in my mind) while the co-wash (with an actual cleansing conditioner like no-poo) still cleanses my scalp, but maintains the moisture in my hair. My scalp is healthy and my hair is shiny and I am happy.

  • Samirah: January 23, 2016

    I used to try to cowash only on my youngest daughter because I didn’t want to dry her hair out but I noticed it wasn’t clean. Now I shampoo with alikay naturals shampoo, cowash then deep condition. That made a major difference in her hair. Oh she is 3 with 3c hair. My oldest daughter who is 9 has always used shampoo but she has 4a hair.

  • NIKKI: January 22, 2016

    I’VE BEEN CONDISH WASHING MY HAIR FOR 20 YRS & I LUV IT BUT I WOULD SHAMPOO MY HAIR NOW & THEN TO CLEANSE ANY DIRT & BUILD UP SO THIS WHOLE THING ISN’T NEW TO ME, BUT I WOULD STILL HAVE TO USE A SULFATE SHAMPOO SINCE THEIR WERE NO SULFATE, SILICONE, ALCOHOL ETC FREE PRODUCTS IN THE 80’S & 90’S, IT WAS REALLY QUITE THE OPPOSITE! BUT NOW I DON’T USE SULFATES, SILICONES OR ANY OF THAT BAD STUFF SO I DON’T REALLY HAVE MUCH BUILD UP BUT MY HAIR STILL NEEDS A GOOD CLEANSING NOW & THEN SO I USE THE NO OR LOW POO SHAMPOOS & MY HAIR IS PRETTY HEALTHY EVEN THOUGH I BLEACH & DYE IT!

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